Unfortunately, watching out for scams at yard and garage sales is a very important thing. Here's a few tips that may protect you from scammers when you have your next yard or garage sale.
Keep a Phone Near
It's important to keep a cellphone or cordless phone nearby in case you need to call
a friend for help or the police.
Also, never leave your cellphone lying on the table when you're not there. Someone could easy steal it and rack up huge charges on your bill.
Be careful if someone asks you to make change for a $50 or $100. There's counterfeit money changing hands all the
time, don't get scammed. It might be a good idea to get a counterfeit detector pen.
If someone tries to pay with a $50 or $100, take the money from them and check it with the counterfeit detector pen and see if the ink from the counterfeit detector pen changes to the right color. Then give the customer their change and make sure you count it out. Never just hand them the bills without counting it out. The customer can say you shorted them and then you can't prove that you gave the right change back?
Check Inside Boxes
Some scammers will take a box with a lower price sticker, dump out the contents and fill it with more valuable items.
Make sure you check inside the box and if they question why your looking just say your making sure all the pieces are there. Only crooks will object!
If they pick up a bag or purse to buy that can conceal other items and they hand you money without giving you the bag, look at the price, set the item down on the table and then take the money. By doing this, you'll be able to tell tell if other items are inside.
You Total the Prices
If someone brings a bag of items to you and says "This total's $15" and hands you the money, always take the items out, add up the prices yourself.
Then you can bag the items back up and take their money. If they ask why you're doing that, just say you'd like to see what items are being bought. Only a scammer will argue with you.
Watch Your Money
If your running your garage or yard sale alone it's best to use a fanny pack or a carpenters apron.
Keep larger bills out of sight. If you're using a money box, keep the larger bills under the tray. If you're using a fanny pack, keep the larger bills in your pocket. When you don't have any customers around, take your money inside but leave enough in your box or fanny pack so that you'll be able to make change for future customers
Unless you have someone helping you, never use a money box. If someone needs assistance at a table on the other side of your yard or garage, your money box will be free for the taking.